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Great Berry Ride April 26 benefits United Way, Catawba athletics

The Rowan County United Way and Catawba College athletics will present the Great Berry Ride on Saturday, April 26.
Charity rides of 25, 75 and 100 kilometers are being hosted by Patterson Farms Market and Tours on Caldwell Road.
Michelle Patterson is coordinator and invites those with an interest in cycling to join the family event. All three rides will roll off at 9 a.m., heading west before eventually dividing into the three different courses.
“Many wonderful volunteers have worked on the planning and soon to be execution of this bicycle ride through the scenic countryside of western Rowan County,” Patterson said. “The rides will start and finish at Patterson Farm Market and Tours and whether you are a participant or spectator, there will be lots of fun for everyone.”
She said the rides are not races, and participants can ride at their own pace. Signs and road markings will point riders in the right direction. Volunteers, fire department and sheriff’s office personnel will be on hand at major crossings. There will be rest stops with food, water and portable toilets along the courses.
The courses have been designed with all fitness levels in mind. Course designer Leonard Wood said, “The 100 and 75K rides both offer a combination of rolling rural roads and several short but steep hills. The 100K total elevation climb and descent total 2,100 feet and the 75K is 1,600 feet. There is a 25K ride also that is less challenging. It can be ridden twice. Most of the riding is rural, but several busier highways will be included for short sections. Three rest stops will be available for those riding the 100K, with two available for the 75K. All three loops are available for viewing at mapmyride.com under Tour de Farm 100K, 75K, and 45K in Salisbury. We will have route summaries available at registration on race day.”
Avid cyclist and Catawba College Assistant Athletic Director Craig Turnbull said, “Over 400 student athletes will benefit from the proceeds from the Great Berry Ride. We are excited to partner with the United Way and Patterson Farms to host this event.”
Jackie Harris of the Rowan County United Way added, “The Rowan County United Way is very excited about the partnership with Catawba athletics. The planning committee has worked hard to make the event a success.”
Sponsors include Cloninger Ford Toyota Scion, Caniche, Cheerwine, Wallace and Graham, Patterson Farm, Skinny Wheels Bicycle Shop, F&M Bank, Novant Health, Bank of North Carolina, Salvation Army, Salisbury Rowan Runners, Friends of Catawba College and the United Way.
A meal and refreshments will be included for riders and their families after the completion of the individual events. Awards will go to the top overall male and female rider at each distance. All participants and volunteers will receive dri-fit shirts.
David Freeze’s book about cycling across the United States, “Lord, Ride With Me Today,” will be on sale with a portion of the proceeds going to the United Way and Catawba athletics.
Registration continues online at www.sportoften.com through Friday, April 25, and a printable race brochure is available at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org . Registrations can be dropped off at Patterson Farm Market, 10390 Caldwell Road, or at the Rowan County United Way office, 1930 W. Jake Alexander Blvd. For additional information, call Michelle Patterson at 704-636-4005.

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